Commissioned Composer Information

The OMTA is dedicated to encouraging the creation of new works by American composers and annually assists in the generation and performance of new music through a State Composer Commissioning program. As such, the commission is not a prize for an extant composition but rather a meaningful encouragement for a recognized composer to create a new musical work. The newly commissioned work receives its premiere performance at the annual OMTA State Conference. The commission fee, which currently stands at $1,500, is traditionally awarded at that time.

To further promote and recognize outstanding contributions to American music, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) annually has its state affiliates submit their commissioned works to a panel of recognized composers for selection of the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year. Each OMTA commissioned piece is automatically entered into MTNA’s national competition. The new work of the selected composer is presented in a concert performance at the next MTNA National Conference and the composer proclaimed the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year. The selected composer also receives a check of $5,000.

The following information is provided as a guide to nominating an individual for OMTA Commissioned Composer:Nominations should be submitted to the chair of the commissioned composer committee.

• Please include nominee’s name, address, phone number, and email address

• The nomination period closes on November 1 of each year

• Any member of OMTA may nominate a composer

• When considering making a nomination, first ascertain the interest of the prospective nominee in pursuing the commission. In the past we have had nominees decline.

• Upon receipt of the name of each composer nominee, the commissioned composer committee will contact the individual and request a resume (or curriculum vita) and an audio sampling of their previous work.

• The deadline for composers to submit materials/CD or a download link to the Chair is December 1. Nominees are encouraged to submit their materials no later than two weeks prior to the December 1 deadline to allow the chair time to review their submissions for possible omissions and/or problems with electronic transmission or with such sites as drop box. 

• It is very important that all nominees understand that the commission is not a prize for an extant composition; rather, it is a meaningful encouragement for a recognized composer to create a new musical work.